tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg March 11, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT
e-mail system. secretary clinton: i opted for convenience to use my personal e-mail account, which was allowed by the state department, because i thought it would be easier to carry just one device for my work and for my personal e-mails instead of two. looking back, it would've been better if i'd simply used a second e-mail account and carried a second phone. at the time, this did not seem like an issue. we went through a thorough process to identify all of my work-related e-mails and deliver them to the state department. at the end, i chose not to keep my private personal e-mails, e-mails about planning chelsea's wedding or my mother's funeral arrangements, condolence notes to friends as well as yoga routines, family vacations, the other things you typically find in inboxes.
no one wants their personal e-mails made public and i think most people understand that and respect that privacy. charlie: the controversy is expected to continue. secretary clinton is seen as a likely presidential nominee of the democratic party in 2016. joining me now, mark halperin and john heilemann of bloomberg politics. welcome back. i am happy to have you here. john, tell me your assessment of this press conference. john: on the positive side, she was better than she was in her book tour. she faced reporters, many of
them foreign journalists, she took a fair number of questions, she talked for a fair amount of time. she answered about 10 questions. she was quite poised. i do think she did not answer many of the central questions to a lot of people's satisfaction. there were questions she chose not to answer. she evaded various things. mark: there are two things that are central. i think if you are inclined to believe her, it is reasonable, the reason she said she set up a personal account. it seems at a minimum, she might've been cavalier about public records request or subpoenas. after she spoke, they suggested she was meticulous about making
sure all of for documents -- charlie: perhaps she was. mark: it is not clear that she did that 100% of the time. the other thing -- there are two things that are still questions. she did not answer the question, did she consult the state department about the security of her server? i think she drew the line. my private e-mails should be private. no one is advocating that her private e-mails about yoga be made public. some people are advocating that
an independent person should look at the server. what she said today was strange, she deleted many personal e-mails from this account. john: that is the biggest problem. she sent 30,000 or so e-mails she regards as work-related and she gave them to the state department. 31,000 e-mails she deemed to be personal e-mails. no one has seen those e-mails. she is saying no one will see those e-mails. she also suggests she deleted many, if not all of them. one of the headlines that will come out of this, for people certainly on the right, hillary clinton destroyed tens of thousands of e-mails and all she
is saying to us is trust me, they are innocuous. charlie: suppose somebody would go to anybody who might be a presidential candidate and say we think we ought to see all of your e-mails. she is saying that what you can't see is not the government stuff, but the personal stuff. if she'd had a separate account and had divided it up, you would still see the government stuff. she could still say, you do not have any right to say that? john: she made an argument about convenience. that strikes some people as not a plausible argument. why couldn't she get multiple e-mails on one device? to go and set up a separate server at her home and have a
bunch of e-mails that she will not show anybody, she claims there are no security breaches. none of that can be proven because she will not let anybody look at the server. for people who want to be doubters, there is a reason to have doubts. she did not resolve questions about people who are skeptical. charlie: will this go away? mark: republicans will continue to hammer on this. they will have her testify about her e-mail practices. her performance today is enough to have democrats come back into her corner. if there are no new revelations, this is not some big thing. before today, i did think it was a big thing.
john: she will be the democratic nominee, almost certainly. there are other stories. this has been a big controversy for the week. she ducked the one question andrea mitchell asked her about today. she asked a question about how she can square her record at the state department as a champion of women and girls with the fact that her foundation took money from some of the least friendly regimes in the world. a lot of stories out there. she will almost certainly be the democratic nominee unless something else happens, but there is a poll out today which suggests right now, people are more attracted to the notion of a candidate of change than they were in 2008.
it is more intense right now than it was in 2008. i agree that none of this -- to the point you made about how it reminds people of the things they do not like about the clintons. many people in the middle of the country have mixed feelings about the clintons. they are not 100% sold. the swing voters, this kind of thing reminds people of the old clintons and that is not what change looks like. charlie: someone said today, i have had all the drama i need. mark: we will go back to parts of whitewater. the billing records, the cattle futures, it will all come back. the upside of her not having an opponent, she can spend the
money worrying about a general election and she does not have to worry about being beaten. republicans are not doing a lot of opposition research on martin o'malley and bernie sanders. they will be able to drop this stuff out. they have investigative reporting budgets. there will be a lot more investigating. john: think about all of the clinton scandals. one argument would be that the clintons survived it in the 1990's. bill clinton is a popular president. back in 2008, the large part of the democratic party that sighed wearily of going back to the notion of going back to all that stuff from the 1990's.
will this not be a psychic overhang for her? impeachment and all of that. if this stretches out and the republicans with benghazi and there are more subpoenas, what is the psychic toll that takes on the electorate? i cannot tell you, but it is not good. mark: her first political press conference since 2008. strong performance under those circumstances. if we normally elect the most likable person, today, she was practiced and careful, lawyerly. she was good enough today to get elected if the republicans nominate someone who is not particularly likable. but she was not her likable self. charlie: who is mr. likability? [laughter]
mark: it is a matter of taste. there is no one like bush 43 or bill clinton or barack obama. they were all very likable figures. lots of likable republicans, but no clear leaders. charlie: i did an interview today with dan pfeiffer. he said it will be interesting to see whether she can put together the coalition that won for obama in 2008, which he did not have in 2014. john: she has the chance to do better than president obama did with working-class white voters. mark: if you think she can do gay and lesbians, union households, african-americans, and better with hispanics,
married couples. potentially, she can. depending on how much buoyancy she has, she might not have the turnout problem. charlie: the coalition -- john: a democratic nominee, she comes in with an extraordinarily enthusiastic base of women in the democratic party who will see her as an historic candidate and will rally behind her. combine that with the inherent demographic advantages and electoral college advantages, it is hard not to argue that she has a 50-50 shot, if not, a slight favorite in the race. the thing that is the drag on her, the sense that people are
weary and do not want to go back to the things they remember were bad about the clinton years. it will be a persistent problem. jeb bush is doing really well with elites and donors. mark will tell you, at this point, doing well with elites, elected officials, donors. he has some problems with elements of the republican base, but he is doing well. mark: people just underrate his retail skills. charlie: back in a moment, kevin spacey is here. think francis underwood.
he stars as francis underwood. "the new york times" calls him one of the most morally bankrupt presidents to ever come out of hollywood. all 13 episodes of the third season were released on netflix last month. here is a look. >> you want to know what takes real courage? holding it all together when the stakes are this high. ♪
charlie: i am pleased to have kevin spacey back at this table. kevin: thank you for having me. i am on stage as we speak doing my last production as an actor. i am still artistic director. i am giving that up -- august is when matthew is taking over my role. charlie: frank underwood. he is in power. this is about governance.
kevin: some people have said now that he is president, he has accomplished what he set out to do. first of all, it is true that getting to the presidency, even though he may have done it in elusive ways -- by not running for office, for example. that is one particular challenge. i think that is one thing. governing, what you want to accomplish as president, it is only just getting started. one of the things we have had an interesting time exploring this third season is if you take two characters like francis and claire, who have successfully managed to do very well in the shadows and the dark alleys. what happens to them when they are in the hot white spotlight of the presidency? there are no more shadows. it will be interesting to see
what happens and what they try to achieve. charlie: tell me how you see him. kevin: i think he believes that his job in politics is to get things done. and if you set aside the murdering, just for a second. look, one of the things i loved about the lincoln film, they were willing to show him as a politician. he was willing to do what he had to do to end slavery in this country. he felt that was more important. charlie: even if it meant locking up politicians. if you ask others, they say, frank underwood is two-thirds lyndon johnson. he was a guy who got things done.
kevin: it is an interesting thing we are examining. johnson, for his entire congressional career, was on the opposite side of the civil rights movement. when he became president, i think, the cousin of the way he became president, feeling it was his obligation to try to continue president kennedy's mandate. he saw the presidency as a place where you can get something like that done. charlie: and civil rights, he did more than kennedy. he said, lyndon johnson did, if you cannot do this, what is the presidency for? kevin: the march in selma had a lot to do with pushing that agenda further.
charlie: mafia chieftains, they know who they are and what they are about. making money, keeping the family together. do this for me. i beg you. what would bill clinton say about it? kevin: i love that "house of cards." no, it is so good. charlie: and johnny carson. kevin: i am too busy writing a monologue. i can't binge. charlie: you are so good at that. this season, it opens, urinating on his father's grave. when you become president, you have to be a little human.
kevin: for the press, they think he is there honoring his father. it is an interesting -- there are certain things. you have covered politics for a long time. we watch when politicians who are not particularly good at putting across their own humanity, they have to do things. they have to go to rallies and bake-offs and wear silly hats. charlie: what you need to do is be sincere. once you get that down, you can do anything. there is some criticism, saying, this governance is not as interesting, as compelling, as exciting as all the things that frank did to get here. how he used people, manipulated people.
machiavelli was an amateur compared to frank underwood. kevin: you can either continue to repeat yourself -- i have heard criticism, there is not enough talking into the camera this season. we are interested in exploring a lot of different things. when you take this season as a whole, i think we have gone to a lot of new places. i was thrilled to do it and i am delighted it is out there. we have to expect the more the show goes on, the more attention it gets, the more criticism it will get. charlie: the first two seasons were much more about frank underwood. this season, more of a focus on the relationship between the two of them. kevin: i would say that is fair. from the beginning, it was a story about this particular
relationship. the first two seasons set up this season. if the first two seasons would have been as focused on the two of them, you would not have gotten as much of the world of politics. charlie: what is the attraction between the two of them? kevin: it is a deep monumental -- there are a lot of things going on. people seem to be very intrigued by them and often say things to me, they are so unconventional. how many conventional marriages do you know? how many marriages do you know that aren't exactly that? a partnership, a bond. i do not think they are that unusual as a couple. there may be people who say, they are obsessed with power.
i would say it is maybe one of the reasons why people like looking at them so much. they do recognize things in both of them. charlie: this is a clip you selected. kevin: if this is going to be johnny carson, i will be really surprised. >> do you really want to discuss courage? anyone can commit suicide or spout their mouth in front of a camera. you want to know what takes real courage? keeping your mouth shut no matter what you might be feeling, holding it all together when the stakes are this high. >> we are murderers, frank. >> no, we are not. we are survivors. >> if we cannot show some
respect for one brave man and still accomplish what we set out to do, i am disappointed in us. >> i should have never made you ambassador. >> i should have never made you president. charlie: is the central theme, what price power? kevin: as it has been through greek drama and shakespeare. people have always been drawn toward these examinations. charlie: what people will do for power. they will commit crimes, they will lie, cheat, steal. kevin: we have had so many interesting examples of characters that are machiavellian and antiheroes characters that are quite complex.
these are the very characters audiences just adore. walter white or dexter, tony soprano. the road has been paved very well for us. charlie: i like the idea that frank is one part dexter and one part walter white. what is the relationship between the two of them? we see her now wanting to be ambassador to the united nations. kevin: as was eleanor roosevelt. she became an ambassador after his presidency, not during. i think women have been doing incredibly well in politics. we certainly do not have enough women senators. there is no doubt that our
country is moving, advancing growing. women are finding their voice. men are sometimes beginning to listen to them. frank definitely listens to claire. he is no idiot. charlie: because it helps them get what he wants most in life power. is power more important to him than sex? kevin: well, not on a saturday night. charlie: so his bisexuality comes into this, right? how does that play a role here? kevin: it's one of the areas that in the show we have not been afraid to explore, to demonstrate. charlie: was there much discussion of that? kevin: not really. charlie, come on. [laughter] charlie: no, but tell me more
about this. kevin: it adds to the soup. even if frank did not declare himself something one way or another, i had a journalist recently say, what is it like playing a closet gay man? i don't think he is. he might call himself bisexual. apparently when he was young and we explored this during the first season, he had a deep affection, perhaps even love for a fellow cadet. charlie: does it say anything about power-sharing? we will share power and men. [laughter] kevin: it's just an area we were never afraid to tackle and it has been very interesting seeing the reaction to it. some people literally would write on twitter, i was disgusted, and i will never
watch the show again. ok, so the murder you were not bothered by, but if he makes out with another guy, that is where you cross the line. come on, grow up. charlie: so what do you expect to see in terms of development of these characters? kevin: the remarkable pressures they come under and the different kinds of storylines. suddenly it's no longer about a congressman dealing with issues and his particular state or even world issues. it's now a big stage in which every decision you make is going to have repercussions and vibrations and difficulties. some people will agree with that in some people won't. the world has gotten much bigger. charlie: what is interesting about this is that you have a russian president who is involved here his name is petrov.
the same first letter as putin. why would you do that? does he share the qualities that they see in vladimir putin? kevin: it is interesting the world we exist in. journalists to appear in house of cards, so it is sort of set in reality. then of course we have the real world, which is very different. but obviously there's lots of people who like to comment on, are you trying to say this about the world? there's a kind of parallel universe happening. what has been most interesting thing about it, and i kid you not, in both season one and season two and now season three, we will have discussions about what we want to tackle. the areas we want to go down
the roads we want to travel. and then bow in his team will write them, and then we will shoot them. about three months later something like what we just did will happen in the world. and we will go, people will think we ripped this from the headlines. by the time and airs, people think we ripped it off, but actually we are not. what is interesting, and this is maybe because bow and his team happen to have their polls and finger on a particular -- they are definitely political junkies. they managed to always just be a step ahead of what they can see coming down the road. it has been very interesting for us, literally in all three seasons this has happened. so here is my plan. we write an episode where $550 billion gets put in the arts budget in the government, and
let's just see if we can then actually make that happen. [laughter] charlie: what a great thing that would be. does frank like frank? kevin: i think frank likes parts of frank and hates parts of frank, just like all of us. charlie: and the parts he doesn't like, he thinks are necessary. kevin: that is a little bit asking me to judge him. charlie: you want to stay away from that, because you are him. kevin: how could you not wear that on your sleeve? i like playing him. charlie: the best actors will say they have to find something about the person they are playing that they like. kevin: meryl streep said a couple of times that she always, whatever character she plays she creates a secret that only she knows, that is never
revealed and that no other characters know, that always gives her an inner life in which something is going on that nobody knows about, so that she can always have an active mind no matter what scene she is in. charlie: i know people that say they cannot get into the head of a character in until they get into the clothes of the character. kevin: sometimes you need to work in ways to understand what really drives a character. when you finally put on their clothes, step in their shoes -- i use that metaphorically but also physically. you start to find the posture. it's like i remember a class in juilliard, there are 26 different kind of masks. when you put a mask on your face and looked in a mirror, suddenly your face goes away. suddenly you become quite liberated. your body starts to do things that you would not want your body to do, because you are
seeing yourself. but when you take away that, when you take away your own race and start to see yourself as someone else, that is the greatest compliment i can ever feel as an actor, when people stop me on the street and talk about the character i play as if it was a three-dimensional person. they actually say the characters name. and i think, i did my job. charlie: if an actor or writer has done that for you, it comes through. kevin: we live in a world where we know some much about people and their lives in their courtships and ups and downs. i remember when i used to go to the cinema when i was younger and i watched henry fonda and spencer tracy and gene kelly. they were who they were.
i knew nothing about them. i believed that henry fonda was joad. i believed that jimmy stewart was mr. smith. i went to those places. it was extraordinary to be able to do that. charlie: is that because they were such good actors? kevin: it's an interesting thing, we were talking about people will say how could you have done that in that show? you go, well, it wasn't me. i'm playing a character. it isn't me doing it. it used to be like when actors would get slapped on 7th avenue for their character in a soap opera. there's an interesting thing has happened, the delineation that used to exist between what an actor might do in their own life that people might find
questionable or offensive, which is what a character does. the character is not a real person. it doesn't mean i did it, it means my character did it. charlie: where you put this character in terms of an acting career? kevin: for me it is a particularly important experience for me and it came along at a particularly important time. when i decide to move to london 11 or 12 years ago to run the old vic theatre, a lot of people thought i was really out of my mind. people said i am walking away from the film career, that it was crazy, that my film career was over. there was a lot of commentary about that. i viewed it that i was walking towards something. now that i'm at the end of my time at the old vic, at the end of this run of clarence darrow i know it was the best decision i could have made.
i know the experiences i have had, i have been artistic director and i have acted in one or two plays every year for the last 11 years. all of those experiences in working with those directors and playing those parts have made me a better actor. charlie: and gave you a better life, probably. kevin: absolutely. it's been remarkable in terms of the timing of it. and also where i am as a person, what i learned about running a company, and having an incredibly brilliant and large staff. what i learned about fund raising, because we get no public subsidy at the old vic. charlie: were ready in your life, yes it is a risk, yes i'm an oscar winner? kevin: i just tried to follow my heart. i literally didn't worry too much about what if this and what if that. i didn't have a lot of debate
about the fact that i was going to go to london and do this. charlie: how did it happen, did they come after you, did you go after them? kevin: i was at the old fig in 1998 doing "the iceman cometh." i threw my own name in the ring. charlie: i didn't know that's how it happened. kevin: it struck me as i was thinking about who might be good for this kind of job that i had been dreaming of running theater my whole life. when i went to high school with val kilmer, and we went to chatsworth high. he lived in roy rogers' old
ranch on trigger street. val and i dreamed of building a theater on trigger street and we would do shakespeare and all this stuff. that theater never happened, but the idea of trigger street, it felt like an inlets road where you could do anything. when i decided to name my company, it became this idea of what trigger street would be. it has been a very successful company and am very proud of the work we have been able to do there. charlie: let's talk about your bromance with bill clinton. kevin: i did a great number of things for him either at the white house or for the democratic committee.
i did a lot of things on the campaign. i suppose that perhaps i never waited to see which way the wind was going to blow with respect to him. i was always there. and i was a true friend. i never doubted him, never stopped believing in him. charlie: and took him as he was. kevin: i took him as he was. and that may be part of the reason why we became close. charlie: and are you close to her as well? kevin: i just have not spent as much time with her as with him. whenever i am with her, i have a good time. i recently hosted an evening at the clinton presidential library for the 10th anniversary of that library and the start of the foundation. someone took a photograph of the three of us on stage. i tweeted, three kinds of presidents.
former, potential, and screen. [laughter] charlie: could you imagine what you would have done if it had not been acting? kevin: it's all i ever knew, from the time i was about eight, i knew i wanted to be an actor. charlie: you never doubted? kevin: no, and i was lucky that my mother never doubted it. my father eventually came along and realized that it was working out. he was nervous that i was choosing a profession that was very difficult. but eventually, he realized that i was doing all right. so i was very fortunate that i knew what i wanted to do very early on. i remember so many of my friends in high school who went on to college didn't know what they wanted to be. they took a lot of courses and
changed their minds. some people do not figure out what they wanted to do until they were in their late 20's or 30's. so i feel very blessed that i knew so early on. charlie: now that you're leaving the old vic, what is your life going to be? kevin: i don't know yet. charlie: what do you want it to be? kevin: i don't know yet. one of the great things is obviously i will have more time. i had made about myself when i first started at the old vic i would not take a job that took me away for more than eight of shooting. so i only did two jobs in the first nine seasons that took me away for eight weeks. i definitely want to do more singing. i'm going to do more of that. charlie: are you serious? kevin: recently i sang with billy joel. it was an incredible night.
i did my own conserve in d.c. for my foundation. i did a concert in miami last year. charlie: this is great, because you could just come out on stage and sing and talk about your life and acting and we've it all together. kevin: it's a very different kind of performance. it's not like you're hiding behind a character. there's nothing between you and the audience. it's an extraordinary challenge and i love doing it. charlie: and how would you do this, would you just start taking dates? kevin: you have to get the costume right, the big elvis belt. i just did a film about elvis. i got to play another president. i know this great story about when over his presley went to richard nixon. in 1970 he was seriously concerned about where the united states was.
all the protests going on, the drug coulter. -- the drug culture. people were not respecting the presidency, they were burning the flag. he flew to washington dc, he wrote a letter to president nixon in which he basically wanted nixon to make him an undercover federal agent at large. charlie: did he come up with a badge? kevin: they finally gave him a batch. -- a badge. it is a remarkable story. charlie: and it is based on facts? kevin: it is based on facts. we had elvis's guy and the guy who supervised richard nixon. charlie: let's assume the answer that you continue to learn as an actor is yes. how is it you continue to learn as an actor? kevin: because storytelling allows us to learn things about ourselves, examine things about
other human beings that we might not necessarily agree with or understand entirely. there is something very humanizing about the role of being an actor. and the most remarkable thing about it is that we can write our own endings. i just had this extraordinary experience in the middle east with my foundation. we wanted to do a project called homegrown, to try to encourage the leaders there that while building national theaters, with all the facilities that you could want, is a wonderful thing. performing in cirque du soleil is not necessarily the way to form your own cultural identity, and have worked at -- of your -- and have work that is written about your own country.
we did a program called homegrown where we auditioned 300 young emerging actors from 17 different nations. we put together a group of 34 them representing yemen, saudi arabia, tunisia, turkey, palestine, israel, the uae, and several others. there were 12 countries represented. we brought them together to do a play that we wrote for them. what was quite remarkable, bringing them altogether, some had never traveled outside their region, some had never been on an airplane. for the men from egypt and saudi arabia, they had never been on stage with women before. it was incredibly powerful the night that we did this. because i believe that sometimes you can do things and you can say things and achieve things culturally that you cannot politically. and we hope to continue this program. charlie: and you can open people's eyes and hearts to the possibilities of humankind.
so you are back in the u.s., you are back acting. what else fills your day? kevin: learning lines, when i'm trying to do a play. the current production of clarence darrow i'm doing is a one-man show, so i am on stage for 90 minutes. clarence darrow had this remarkable life. what is most interesting about doing this play, which was originated by henry fonda who did it in 1974, is that every single issue that clarence darrow was fighting for or against in the late 1800s and early 1900s, we are still grappling with today. every single issue. we are still trying to get it right. he is such a remarkable figure.
i've had the chance to play him on two other occasions. i did a film about his life 20 years ago, and one at the old vic about five years ago. there are two things that i've never done. i've never done a one-man show and i've never done a show in the round. we have reconfigured the old vic for this season to be a theater in the round. that means there is nowhere to hide. they are everywhere, and they are very close. i have a stage that is not much bigger than this platform we are sitting on. it is just a remarkable experience to be that intimate with an audience. and in britain, particularly although i hope to bring it to the united states, they don't know clarence darrow the way we do. it is literally watching an audience discover this man's life and what he did, and what an incredible voice he was. and his sort of homespun logic and arguments that he made. he defended 102 men against the
death penalty, and not a single one was hanged. it's pretty remarkable. charlie: where do you put "the iceman cometh"? kevin: i had not done a play since the manhattan theater club. i just needed to do a play, and this play came along, the idea of working with howard davies and doing this epic work. it just was the perfect moment for me to have tackled it. and of course because we ended up moving it to the old vic, it is a seminal moment, because it's where i fell in love with the old vic and why i ended up moving to london. charlie: one of the classic theater pieces.
kevin: they have been doing a very successful run of it with nathan lane and brian dennehy. charlie: is there any character you have been waiting to play? kevin: not really. i don't covet parts. i've never really coveted -- "i've got to play that role." it's more about where a director sees me and how a director wants to work with me. charlie: have there been things that you've said, i've got to do this because all great actors have stopped at this place whether hamlet or whatever it might be? kevin: it's possible, there may be a few down the road. someday i should probably play the father in "a long day's journey." charlie: "house of cards," third season. kevin spacey, good to see you.
cory: live from pier 3 in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west." where we cover innovation, technology, and the future of business. i'm cory johnson. a check of your top headlines. the fed stress test results are out. they see whether banks can withstand losses. citigroup got the best results. bank of america got a conditional pass. deutsche bank and santander failed. american express, wells fargo, morgan stanley among those